Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
I. Retirement
By Richard Chenevix Trench (1807–1886)
 
A WRETCHED thing it were, to have our heart
  Like a throng’d highway or a populous street,
  Where every idle thought has leave to meet,
Pause, or pass on, as in an open mart;
Or like a roadside pool, which no nice art        5
  Has guarded that the cattle may not beat
  And foul it with a multitude of feet,
Till of the heavens it can give back no part.
But keep thou thine a holy Solitude:
  For He, who would walk there, would walk alone;        10
He who would drink there, must be first endued
  With single right to call that stream his own.
    Keep thou thine heart close fasten’d, unreveal’d,
    A fencèd garden and a fountain seal’d.
 
 
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